WFP has more than 20 years of experience in price data collection in Afghanistan. Until recently, WFP collected price data on a weekly basis for 17 food and non-food commodities from 8 main cities in the country where WFP has its offices, and produced weekly heads up notes and monthly market price bulletins containing information on food access and availability of food in these markets. As the COVID-19 outbreak has developed and affected food and non-food commodity prices, WFP launched daily market price bulletins using data from these 8 cities, while establishing a system for market price monitoring and data collection for all 34 provinces of the country, adding 9 extra commodities to the analysis including livelihood related items (fertilizers, improved seed and animal feed) based on requests from the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Data collection was launched during the first week of May 2020 in all the 34 provincial capitals, while the daily bulletins were maintained until 31 May 2020. From now on, WFP will issue weekly bulletins every Wednesday covering the market trends of the previous week.
- Compared to the fourth week of May, almost all food commodity prices decreased except low quality rice and cooking oil. The prices of core vegetables (potato, tomato and onion) showed a significant decrease;
- Compared to 14 March (pre-COVID-19 prices), almost all food commodity prices are significantly higher, except salt:
- The average wheat flour price (high price & low price) of all provincial markets is 18% higher than 14 March;
The average price of wheat was 14% higher than 14 March;
The average price of cooking oil was 37% higher than 14 March;
The average price of pulses was 31% higher than 14 March;
The average price of sugar was 19% higher than 14 March;
The average prices of rice (high & low quality) were 7% and 22% higher than 14 March, respectively;
Casual laborers’ and pastoralists’ purchasing power have deteriorated by 8% and 13% compared to 14 March, mainly due to increased wheat prices.